The mockery of ‘Black Jesus’
At night, the children’s channel called Cartoon Network transforms into the badly named Adult Swim channel, a parade of juvenile “satirical” sludge such as repeats of Seth MacFarlane’s “Family Guy” and “American Dad” cartoons. How many parents know this? Or know these shows rarely miss an opportunity to sock it to “organized religion” – especially if that religion is Christianity?
Sadly, in the second quarter of 2014, the juvenilia on Adult Swim made it the No. 1 television network on basic cable for adults 18-24, 18-34 and 18-49, and also for males in those age brackets. Its mockery has made fans.
Seven years ago, this Time Warner channel tried to sling mud at Christians with a nasty program called “Moral Orel,” a twisted take on the old “Davey and Goliath” stop-motion religious cartoons. Cartoon Network’s promotional language about Orel, a young Protestant automaton-in-training, included this sentence: “His unbridled enthusiasm for piousness and his misinterpretation of religious morals often lead to disastrous results, including self-mutilation and crack addiction.”
That show didn’t fly, but now, Adult Swim is airing a live-action satire called “Black Jesus,” where the sinless and all-powerful Son of God is transformed into a black man who swears like a sailor and smokes marijuana in the mean streets of Compton, Calif. The creator is leftist cartoonist Aaron McGruder, who for 10 years drew a comic strip about blacks called “The Boondocks.” Right after 9/11, he professed, “I really and truthfully believe” that George W. Bush was behind 9/11. In other words, he’s beyond satire himself. “Truth-teller” is not a word you should use for him.
This led to Adult Swim picking up an animated TV version of “The Boondocks.” As that show enters its final season, McGruder and his Hollywood partners have turned to “Black Jesus.” They assumed that faithful Christians in the red states would be scandalized at the mere title of it, since they’re quite likely to be Obama-loathing racists.
McGruder has preached that it’s “important to offend, but equally important to offend for the right reasons.” But where is the “right reason” to have your Jesus curse and fight and smoke pot? There’s no serious reason to portray Jesus as complaining to one man who just wants lotto numbers: “I still love your b–h a-. By default, fool.” In the second episode, Jesus persuades his disciples to help him turn a vacant lot into a garden so they can grow their own marijuana. Black Christians should be the most offended by these plots.
It’s bad enough Hollywood leftists smear Jesus in this fashion. But then some liberals try to argue that this is somehow an attempt to spread and not shred Christianity. USA Today columnist DeWayne Wickham claimed, “A show that connects Jesus to young people – even one such as ‘Black Jesus’ – might help reverse their movement away from organized religion.”
This is inherently illogical or barbaric intellectual dishonesty. You pick.
No one making this show is trying to turn Adult Swim superfans into churchgoers. It’s an effort to push society to disorganize and discard religion. They pick on those who love their Christian faith, because it’s never safe to pick on Islam – imagine any satire called “Black Muhammad” – and they know that beneath all the media muck, America still has deep Christian roots.
Christians should not simply shake their heads at Adult Swim’s repeated attempts to spread anti-religious bigotry. “Organized religion” should organize to oppose this kind of blasphemy.